The morale of the troops is high, and their commander can’t wait to order them to attack… Davide Tardozzi is pawing away as he waits for MotoGP to restart. The mission is always to beat Marquez and the Ducati team manager is ready to accept the challenge. In recent weeks he has kept in touch with all team members and is satisfied.
"I think the morale is excellent, everyone is looking forward to starting again - he says - I have kept in touch with everyone and the team spirit is strong, indeed in this situation it has become even stronger. I am satisfied with the relationship with the team members and the riders, I don’t wish to be parochial, but in times of difficulty Italians stick together. "
There is talk of doing a test on the Thursday of the first Grand Prix, will this only be useful for the riders or also for the team?
“It will certainly be good for everyone, even to check the bikes. For example, we will get ours back tomorrow, after they have been in the crates for more than two months. They will have to be completely disassembled and thoroughly checked, doing some sort of shakedown is a matter of safety. I think it’s needed for that more than to help the riders get back on track. "
Tardozzi: "There will be fewer races but the values on the track will not change"
Can a shorter and more compressed championship change the values on the track?
"I don't think so, the fact that there are fewer races might influence the approach of some riders, not all of them, but the protagonists will not change. Just look at last year's ranking to see who they are, I would say all the riders who finished from 1st to 8th place to whom I would add Mir. So, the Ducatis, the Yamahas, the Suzukis and Marc Marquez will fight it out for the win. "
Will a freeze on development until 2022 harm anyone?
"It seems like a smart move in a difficult time when saving a little money is good for everyone. As they say, intelligence must be lord and master in this situation and Dorna has made the right decision. Safeguarding the budget must be combined with the show, all the manufacturers, from the largest to the smallest, will be struggling and there will be no problems delaying development for a year. While underlining that for Ducati technological development is important, we are in MotoGP to develop the standard product, so experimenting is fundamental ".
Tardozzi: "The consequences of the coronavirus will be felt for a couple of years, it will be an opportunity to improve"
From this point of view, could 2021 be more difficult for teams and manufacturers than 2020?
"It will be an off-shoot season from 2020, I think that for at least a couple of years we will pay the consequences of what has happened. Many sponsors will have trouble supporting the teams as they have done until now due to the economic repercussions of the coronavirus. Slowly we will return to normal and I would like to think that an opportunity can come from these problems. Sharpening your wits means being able to improve, you have to see things in a positive way. These situations make you think. "
Speaking of 2021, do you expect to find the same riders today in the garage?
"I am sure there will be two riders who are currently under contract with Ducati."
There are 5 in MotoGP, you haven't narrowed the field much ...
“Races are competition, and, on the track, you have to prove that you are worthy of the factory team. It's up to them to give us an answer. "
"Dovizioso is an underrated rider, I get fed up with hearing that everyone is a phenomenon except him"
Wouldn't it be a pity to lose Dovizioso after all these years together?
"Andrea is an underrated rider and a golden boy. He is underrated because he is not a social media man and a person who wants to emerge at all costs. Not by chance has he been 3 times world championship runner-up behind a rider like Marc Marquez, so those who denigrate him don’t understand motorcycling. I think he is worth more than he has ever demonstrated. So what if he has never been able to win the world title because he has flaws? Everyone has them, even Marquez, if he finishes second, he might have something less than Marc, but what should all the other riders say? "
Does criticism of Dovizioso bother you?
“Let's stop praising all the other riders. If Andrea has finished runner-up 3 times it means he has some merit. I’m fed up with hearing that everyone who finishes behind him is called a phenomenon while he is just considered to be one of many. I think we have to praise him for what he has done. He doesn’t seem to me to be a washout.”
Do you think he's paying for his past, those years when he hadn't been able to express himself better?
“Unfortunately, I'm afraid so, because in the past 5 years Andrea has been super competitive. I have been in MotoGP since 2014 and I can say that he has done an excellent job, I have seen the bike, him and his mentality all improve. He is 34 years old, but he is a 34-year-old boy; if Valentino at 41 is still rightly considered a top rider, I don't see why Andrea should be considered an old rider when he is in great shape mentally, physically and is world championship runner-up. You have to be intellectually honest to criticize him but also to underline the great things he has done. And he did them in the period of Marc Marquez."
Tardozzi: "Everyone wants Dovizioso to stay in Ducati, also for him it's an opportunity"
So… will he stay?
(Laughs) “I think it's in everyone's interest to come to a positive conclusion. I’m not the one to carry out the negotiation, it is in the hands of Dall’Igna who knows everything and what to do. I think that also for Andrea it is an opportunity to carry on with Ducati, the rider alone cannot do everything, every now and then the bike gives him a hand. There are three elements: rider, bike and team, they must work well together, as is happening ".
Are there no disagreements?
“Like in a family, it is with discussion that things go on and things get better. I like the fact that Andrea is correct and the fact that we can speak without filters”.